JM has been a Restore client since the onset of the program in 2015. One of 11 programs in the nation, Restore helps clients (and their family members) navigate the road to recovery from an episode of psychosis.
Prior to her first episode, JM had a job she loved and her own apartment. She struggled with depression, but was hopeful about her future. In 2014, following the death of her mother, she had an episode of psychosis. This led to homelessness and job loss. Suddenly, JM was left without any family support, health insurance or material possessions. She even lost her treasured guitar. JM felt alone and was not sure how to start rebuilding her life.
However, JM’s therapist saw hope for her and referred her to the Restore team at Eyerly Ball. Slowly things started to come together. Restore’s family support provider, Glenn, helped her set up transitional housing. Dr. Dewdney, Psychiatrist and Medical Director, and the nursing staff created a medication support plan with the aid of Eyerly Ball’s prescription assistance program.
The goal of the Restore program is recovery, which is defined as a person’s ability to experience a rewarding and meaningful life – even while the person may be managing or coping with existing symptoms. JM embraced her care team, and they her, resulting in a return to full-time work and an apartment within 3 months of starting the program. JM has also reconnected with her brother and a few close friends. JM recently shared that she “is grateful to Restore staff, because this is the first time in 3 years she has been able to avoid homelessness.”
I came from Tallahassee, FL and moved to Des Moines to get away from crack cocaine in 2014. I had been clean off and on for about 10 years but couldn’t avoid drugs there. I was staying at the shelter (Central Iowa Shelter Services), but was kicked out from there due to a misunderstanding over a box cutter, so I went to the Crisis Observation Center. From there I went to the Crisis Stabilization Center where I was able to get on the right medication and establish a healthy daily routine. I also received counseling about how to stay focused, establish boundaries, and take care of myself. I learned that there are consequences for everybody’s actions and how to avoid negative consequences.
Now I have my sanity back and peace of mind. I started a full-time job at Red Lobster so I’ve been able to save some money and am getting ready to move into an apartment at Mainstream Living. I also created a WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) with reminders about how to stay well, information about my medications and contact information for all the people who support me in staying well. I am now able to maintain my physical and mental health.
Kelli is a woman in her mid-50’s who had worked hard, raised three children as a single mom, and had a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant. In her own words, she “always knew that (she) wasn’t right”, but didn’t know what her problem was. She pushed on and did what she needed to do, until the spring of 2015 when she became completely overwhelmed with her feelings of depression and anxiety while staying with her son and his family. Feeling that she was at the end of her rope, she walked 2 miles to the offices of a mental health professional that she found in the phone book. He was unable to meet with her that day, but assisted in directing her toward the help she needed. She eventually came to the Crisis Observation Center and from there to the Crisis Stabilization Center where she spent the next two months.
In her evaluation written at her discharge, she wrote “This service is a godsend! I couldn’t have gotten well without the help of the wonderful staff! Eyerly Ball helped me to get new glasses and dentures, and they found the doctors that I needed and a case manager. They educated me on my mental illness, taught me med(ication) management and coping skills... It’s just a wonderful place for anyone with a mental illness who is willing to get the help they offer.”
As Kelli implied in her closing phrase, the Crisis Stabilization Center is not a housing program or shelter, but a place where clients must be engaged in their treatment. Participation in individual and group therapy, appointments with case managers and medication compliance are strong expectations. Our staff works with each client to set reasonable goals for physical and mental health stabilization and provides support and resources for meeting them. There were days that Kelli got frustrated and wanted to give up, but she continued with the encouragement of staff and other clients. Some choose to leave rather than meet the expectations, but with hard work and determination, most leave the center for stabilized living in a variety of settings in the community.
If you have a personal story of how Eyerly Ball has impacted your life, or the life of someone you know, that you would like to share, please contact Eyerly Ball at firstname.lastname@example.org.